Stanislas strikes to torpedo Koeman's unbeaten start

24 September  0 Comments  [Jump to last]
Bournemouth 1 - 0 Everton

Gareth Barry was forced off with an ankle injury early in the second half

Everton's unbeaten record in the 2016-17 Premier League was shattered at Bournemouth as they failed to find an answer to Junior Stanislas' first-half strike.

The winger was the scorer that broke Blues hearts in this fixture last season with a last-gasp equaliser and it was he who accepted the invitation from Everton's defence to rifle an unstoppable 25-yard shot into the top corner that ultimately proved to be the winner.

With the Cherries lively and purposeful from the outset and Callum Wilson glancing a first-minute header inches wide, it was a goal that had been coming after Artur Boruc had made an excellent one-handed save at the other end to deny Romelu Lukaku's header off a Ross Barkley free kick in the 10th minute.

Jack Wilshere had side-footed a deflected shot off the face of Maarten Stekelenburg's crossbar, Jordan Ibe saw his effort also take a crucial nick off a defender to miss the far post, and Charlie Daniels grazed the same upright with another low drive from a similar position as Everton struggled to cope with the energy of Eddie Howe's side.

Stanislas provided the breakthrough five minutes later, though, when he took full advantage of oceans of space outside the penalty area and lashed his shot beyond Stekelenburg's reach.

The response from the visitors was tepid, however, and only Gareth Barry's accurate drive from 30 yards that Boruc pushed over his bar for safety and a Kevin Mirallas effort that was diverted behind threatened to bring them back into the contest before the half-time interval.

The frustrating pattern of the game continued into the second period until a pin-point delivery from the Seamus Coleman picked out Barkley in the middle but he couldn't steer his header on goal and it flashed wide.

After Barry was forced off in the 55th minute with the ankle injury he was carrying coming into the match and Gerard Deulofeu replaced Mirallas five minutes after that, Everton tried to step up their attempts to find an equaliser. They were continually confounded by the home side's pressing game and let themselves down in forward areas.

Boruc had to be alert, however, to bat Deulofeu's cross away from under his crossbar, Bolasie hammered a shot narrowly over, and Enner Valencia, on as a late substitute, almost turned in Bolasie's cross but couldn't react in time to get his shot on target at the far post.

For Ronald Koeman, it was the second damaging defeat in the space of a week following Everton's exit from the EFL Cup at the hands of Norwich City and another reality check to the Blues' heady start to the new campaign.

Furthermore, with Leighton Baines forced to miss today's game with a knock and Barry another injury concern, the Dutchman has unwanted selection concerns in key positions ahead of Friday's clash with Crystal Palace.

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page